Salvation Army Service Users Experiencing Homelessness Win Street Football League Final

published on 19 Sep 2016

A football team from Ty Gobaith, a Salvation Army residential centre for people experiencing homelessness, won the final of the East Wales League organised by Street Football Wales last Wednesday 14 September at the PlayFootball Centre in Newport.  

The team was made up of service users and former service users from Ty Gobaith, based in Cardiff. The Ty Gobaith team were top of the East League table and needed to win just two games to become the league champions. They came out on top, beating 12 teams that took part in the final on Wednesday.   The Salvation Army promotes a person centred approach to supporting people who are experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army supports services users to take part and form football teams, providing opportunities to promote confidence, to develop team building skills, a healthy lifestyle and a sense of achievement to all those taking part.   

Ty Gobaith have had a football team since February 2014 and have had team members selected to represent and captain the Wales team at the Homelessness World Cup.  

Wayne Ellaway, Wayne Ellaway, 41, former service user and captain of the team said, 'This tournament has been brilliant. Football is incredibly important for me and played a huge role in my recovery. Ty Gobaith and the Salvation Army have done so much for me, their ongoing support is amazing. I have my own flat now and live independently but remain committed to supporting the football team'  

Ahmed Abdi, 19, is a current service user at Ty Gobaith said, 'I've been living at Ty Gobaith for several months and the involvement with the football team has been really important to me. It's a great opportunity to socialise, build friendships and meet new faces, has helped to build my confidence and has helped me develop team- building skills'.  

Christina Davies, Programme Coordinator Skills & Community Houses at Ty Gobaith, said: “I am so proud of the commitment of our residents and staff, football has brought out a team spirit in all that have been involved and the hard work has seen us win numerous trophies all of which have a special meaning”.   Street Football Wales, who organise four football leagues across Wales, is a social inclusion charity hosted by the Pobl Group. It provides footballing opportunities for almost 1,000 individuals experiencing homelessness, drug dependency and mental health issues.  

Project Leader for Street Football Wales, Keri Harris said: “The event is a culmination of the East league programme and season. The Ty Gobaith team fully deserve their win. They have been a fantastic partner throughout the league programme, they have shown incredible commitment, attended every match and conduct themselves professionally and respectfully every time they play.   

For more than 150 years The Salvation Army has been transforming lives and continues to do so today in communities across the UK and throughout the world.